Highlights of Building Expertise 2014

Building Expertise 2014

By Scott Sterling

It’s hard to believe we’re coming up on another edition of Building Expertise. The signature Marzano conference gets bigger every year, attracting more and more of the brightest minds in education and the most dedicated teachers.

This year’s conference, Journey to Rigor, will be held at Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort in Orlando, FL on June 17–19. You know you’ll come away having learned an incredible amount, but the location in itself—right in the heart of the Walt Disney World Resort—promises the most fun and relaxation you can have at a conference. Register today for Building Expertise 2015.

What’s the best way to look forward to this year’s conference? By looking back at some of the highlights from last year. So here are a few sessions that attendees were talking about.

Essentials for Achieving Rigor – Dr. Robert Marzano and Michael Toth with guests

The conference schedule kicked off with a keynote from Robert J. Marzano and Michael D. Toth. You would expect an opening keynote to introduce what was going to happen for the rest of the conference. It did, but it also introduced a whole new way to work through the Marzano framework with the Essentials for Achieving Rigor. Also announced was the formation of Learning Sciences International’s publishing division, along with books that have since been released and have proven to be as excellent as they sounded during this introduction.

Close Reading of Complex Texts – Dr. Douglas Fisher

There is a lot of fantastic and worthwhile work being done in reading instruction these days, including the philosophy and strategy surrounding close reading. Very few people would say this work is engaging and funny, but that’s exactly what the attendees were saying when they left this session with Dr. Fisher. You actually came out inspired to use that sort of uplifting nature in your own reading instruction.

Embedding Conative Skills in Lessons – Diane Hampel

Sometimes, we think so much about cognitive skills that we forget those skills that aid us in developing cognition, as well as become productive members of society. Conative skills focus on both external and internal communication. External communication and collaboration are keys to success in the next generation of standards. Internal communication, like persistence and positivity, help students reach heights they didn’t think were possible.

Effective Deliberate Practice – Lynne McGee

It takes practice to become great at anything—especially teaching. Lynne McGee’s session showed attendees what deliberate practice looks like and actionable steps they can take right now to help them improve their craft in a systematic way. Of particular interest to those who participated was the idea of videotaping every single lesson you teach and sharing them with anyone who will help you grow.

This year’s edition, Journey to Rigor, will be held at Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort in Orlando, Florida on June 17–19. Register today for Building Expertise 2015.

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